When Norah Jones released her debut album, Come Away with Me, back in 2002, a lot of things came together: her distinguished musical pedigree; the prestige of her label, Blue Note; and the quality of the musicians involved (Bill Frisell, Brian Blade). Still, no one could have anticipated how the public would respond to this newcomer’s intriguing blend of jazz, blues, and country. Millions of units sold, and eight Grammy Awards later, Jones was certified pop royalty, a status she used to relax, explore, and develop into a masterful live performer and a versatile songwriter.
On Tuesday, September 25, Jones rolled into the Arlington on a mini-tour of California, just two days after holding down the headline spot on the final night of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Steady, confident, and backed by a trio of bass, drums, and Hammond B3 organ, Jones exuded the kind of seemingly effortless sophistication that’s served her so well since Come Away. Mixing songs from 2016’s Day Breaks, such as the funky soul break “Flipside,” with even more recent material, such as the 2018 collaboration with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, “A Song with No Name,” Jones showed that she remains as prolific and inventive as she was starting out.